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Meet the Maker: Therese Kuempel Casts Crystals in Brass

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Local jewelry designer Therese Kuempel has a design process that almost sounds like sorcery. In her home studio, she casts crystals in brass and bronze using a rare, methodical process that involves building wax molds. Her handmade, one-of-a-kind designs have an edge of rawness, and are meant to empower the wearer.

As she prepares to showcase her designs at Thursday's R-Fest—an indoor marketplace at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown—we spoke to Kuempel about her process, her love for crystals, and how she layers her own jewelry. "Meet" the jewelry sorceress here, and then meet her for real at the hotel's event this week.

· Therese Kuempel Jewelry [Official Site]
· "R" Fest Indoor Market & After Party at Bar Novo [Eventbrite]